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Tuesday, May 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Sheriff Arpaio Loses One Over Immigration Raid

PHOENIX (CN) - Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office violated the constitutional rights of a longtime permanent U.S. resident and his U.S. citizen son by arresting them as they drove to work and taking them in handcuffs to an immigration raid where they were held for three hours, a federal judge ruled Monday.

Julian Mora and his son sued Arpaio, five of his named officers and three John Doe officers in 2009.

Mora had been a legal permanent U.S. resident for more than 30 years when deputies of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office arrested him and his citizen son, Julio, on the morning of Feb. 11, 2009, according to the complaint.

The Moras alleged violations of the Fourth and 14th Amendments, violation of the equal protection guarantee in the Arizona Constitution, false arrest, false imprisonment, assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

U.S. District Judge David Campbell granted the Moras' request for summary judgment on their Fourth Amendment claim, finding the county liable for the unconstitutional stop and arrest of plaintiffs. Campbell denied the motion in all other respects, including the dispute over the Moras' detention.

Agreeing with the county, Campbell also dismissed the Moras' emotional distress, state constitution and 14th Amendment claims.

Campbell said he will set a trial date in a separate order on the Moras' claims that their arrest was racially motivated. The trial will also determine whether their three-hour detention was reasonable, whether Arpaio and his officers should be individually liable, and damages.

Arpaio, who calls himself "America's toughest sheriff," has been sued more than 200 times in recent years, often on civil rights charges stemming from his highly publicized immigration raids.

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